Cutter's Yard Care FAQ and Advice
We are frequently asked, "what is the easiest way to make my lawn look better?" but why stop at just one way to make your lawn better. Here are our top three ways to make your lawn look great in the shortest amount of time.
Fertilizing the lawn is a good way to green up your yard in a hurry. Grass is naturally nitrogen hungry so the little boost of nutrients will give your yard that nice green glow that everyone wants. Be careful, though because too much fertilizer or applications at the wrong time of year could do more harm than good.
2) Don't mow it too short
Mowing too short is a common mistake but is the easiest to remedy. All you have to do is.. well, nothing. Just let it grow! A good height for grass is in the 2.5 to 3 inch height. The longer roots that grow as the result of a longer blade will allow your lawn to stay greener later into the dry season.
3) water at the right time
It's sometimes easiest to just water when you have time but it's always best to do it at the right time. When is that? The best time to water is very early in the morning so that the water can get to the roots before it evaporates in the heat of the day. Also, it's better for the health of the plant because when the sun does come out the excess moisture on he green part of the plant dries off faster keeping away those nast fungal diseases that can get costly to remedy.
The best time to trim trees and shrubs depends on a lot of factors. If they flower it's typically best for you to trim them right after they are done flowering because it takes many blooming shrubs an entire season to produce more buds for the next year. If you trim too late you might not get any blooms. Because we are in a cold climate we have the benefit of a dormant season with little to no diseases present with our (typical) snow cover. It isn't good to trim in the coldest months but March is usually the best. Just cold enough to keep the diseases away but warm enough to work and not harm the plants. Of course there are some exceptions. Trees like brich, sugar maple, and white pine have a tendency to bleed if they are cut too early in the spring. To prevent this you can wait until the new foliage is about half to it's full size. The last rule of thumb to follow is for evergreen trees. It's best to only trim into the newest growth so that means you shouldn't trim until summer when the new, bright green needles are growing strong for the season. This will give the new growth time to harden off and be good and strong to make it through the winter.
There is a lot of information out there about how and when to fertilize your lawn but keep in mind that we live in central Minnesota so most of our grasses are what are known as cool season grasses. Cool season grasses grow strongest during, you guessed it, the cool seasons which occur after winter to about July and then pick up again after August. With that in mind it is best to avoid fertilizing during the hottest parts of the growing season to avoid burning or rapid growth just prior to the summer dormancy period. Spring and early fall are the best times to give the grass some food. Another time related issue is the time of day the fertilizer is applier. Avoid applying granular fertilizers when there is still dew on the grass because if the fertilizer dissolves in the small amount of water on the lawn it can cause some really nasty burns that take weeks for the grass to grow out of and with our short seasons we don't have weeks to lose!